A Quantitative Assessment of Staphylococcus aureus Community Carriage in Yuma, Arizona

Benjamin Russakoff, Colin Wood, Monica R. Lininger, Steven D. Barger, Robert T. Trotter, Sara Maltinsky, Mimi Mbegbu, Briana Coyne, David Panisello Yagüe, Shari Kyman, Kara Tucker-Morgan, Kathya Ceniceros, Cristina Padilla, Kevin Hurtado, Ashley Menard, Francisco Villa, Heidi A. Wayment, Crystal Hepp, Tara Furstenau, Viacheslav FofanovCindy M. Liu, Talima R. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background. Disease control relies on pathogen identification and understanding reservoirs. Staphylococcus aureus infection prevention is based upon decades of research on colonization and infection, but diminishing returns from mitigation efforts suggest significant knowledge gaps. Existing knowledge and mitigation protocols are founded upon culture-based detection, with almost no information about pathogen quantities. Methods. We used culture and a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay on samples from 3 body sites to characterize colonization more comprehensively than previous studies by describing both prevalence and pathogen quantity. Results. We show a much higher overall prevalence (65.9%) than previously documented, with higher quantities and prevalence associated with the nares, non-Hispanic males (86.9%), and correlating with colonization in other body sites. These results suggest that research and clinical practices likely misclassify over half of colonized persons, limiting mitigation measures and their impact. Conclusions. This work begins the process of rebuilding foundational knowledge of S aureus carriage with more accurate and wholistic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1041
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • carriage of S aureus
  • culturing S aureus
  • detection of S. aureus
  • quantitative carriage
  • saQuant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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